AMBER Rudd was yesterday urged to go further after unveiling Universal Credit reforms.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said the system was not as “effective” or “compassionate” as she wanted.

Plans to move three million people on to the single benefit payment will now be delayed until 2020 and the cash will now go directly to a household’s main carer in a bid to better support women.

The changes were announced yesterday as High Court judges said rules over payments had been wrongly interpreted, leaving claimants out of pocket and below the poverty line.

Four single mothers had challenged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

READ MORE: High Court judges slam 'nonsensical' Universal Credit rule

Yesterday’s changes came after the government announced a U-turn on plans to extend the two-child cap to more families with youngsters born before that limit was introduced in 2017.

Other changes will make the system more “individual”, tailoring it to claimants’ needs by making payments more regular or paying rent money direct to landlords.

Rudd also signalled that an end is in sight for the long-standing benefit freeze introduced by former chancellor George Osborne in 2016, saying “it should come to an end” in 2020.

However, she admitted she had yet to discuss extra funding with Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Save The Children’s Steven McIntosh said the announcements were “a step in the right direction”, but added: “Families are forced to pay sky-high childcare fees before waiting weeks to be paid back.

“This risks plunging families into debt or keeping parents out of work, undermining the whole system.

“The Secretary of State acknowledged this is a huge issue but the proposed solution – short-term support and flexibility over deadlines when parents start work – tinkers around the edges of a problem that needs addressing head on.”

And economist Tom Waters, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “Amber Rudd’s reform announced today certainly addresses the issue of ‘retrospection’ that had attracted criticism.

“But it does nothing to change the fact that, in the long-run, the two-child limit substantially reduces the extent to which the benefits system supports poorer families with three or more children.”